Phonak LLC, Warrenville, Ill, has awarded the 2014 Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award for outstanding achievement in Educational and Pediatric audiology to Tina Childress, MA. Through her work as an educational audiologist at CASE Audiology and as a cochlear implant outreach specialist and trainer for the Illinois School for the Deaf Outreach Program, Tina serves as a guide and mentor to children, teens, and adults with hearing loss, as well as a professional resource for those who work in the hearing healthcare.

Tina Childress, MA

Tina Childress, MA

According to Phonak, Childress is also a popular presenter, trainer, and adjunct lecturer to families and professionals on a variety of topics relating to hearing loss but especially cochlear implants, assistive technology, leveraging social media, and using apps in deaf education and/or audiology. She has presented all over North America, conducted many webinars and written articles for trade periodicals and is prominent on social media.

“Tina has a gift for bringing information to the consumers and professionals in a way that is understandable and current,” said Tena L. McNamara, AuD, an associate professor and educational audiologist at Eastern Illinois University. “She is extremely active in our field and definitely the “go-to-person” when information is needed about current assistive technology, apps, and cochlear implants.”

Childress’ perspective is unique in that she is a late-deafened adult (she was an audiologist first!) and received her first cochlear implant in 2000 and became a bilateral recipient in 2005. According to Phonak, she has enormous passion for mentoring, teaching, and helping others navigate through the world of hearing loss and believes in paying it forward with her dual perspective as an audiologist and bilateral cochlear implant recipient.

Personally and professionally, Childress is active on many local and national boards and committees where she is a strong advocate for accessibility and sharing resources. Some of her roles include Chairperson of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, an Advisory Board Member for Illinois Families for Hands & Voices, a member of the Educational Audiology Association Social and Electronic Media Committee, as well as a member of different cochlear implant support groups in the area.

Childress obtained her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Audiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently lives in Illinois with her husband and two daughters.

The Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award. Each year, Phonak honors an audiologist working in a school program or in pediatric research within the United States, who made a significant contribution to improve the level of service to hard-of-hearing children, by sharing his/her exceptional knowledge about communication systems and by working to advance the use of available technologies.

Introduced in 2007, the award is named for Cheryl DeConde Johnson, EdD, the first hearing care professional to receive the award for her many years working as an educational audiologist and deaf educator, including 15 years directing the audiology and deaf education programs for the state of Colorado.

Along with honorary chairperson Cheryl DeConde Johnson, the selection committee includes: Eric Timm, Phonak vice president of national sales;  Miranda Weidle, Phonak director of sales, pediatrics and schools; Christine Jones, Phonak director of pediatric clinical research; Evert Dijkstra, managing director of Phonak Communications, Switzerland, and Hans Mulder, director of marketing and wireless research at Phonak Communications, Switzerland.

Source: Phonak LLC